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FAQ/Walkthrough by ASchultz

Version: 1.0.0 | Updated: 02/19/08

Circus Caper(NES) FAQ/Walkthrough
version 1.0.0 by schultw.andrez@sbcglobal.net

Please do not reproduce for profit without my consent. You won't be getting 
much profit anyway, but that's not the point. This took time and effort, and 
I just wanted to save a memory of an old game and the odd solutions any way I 
could. Please send me an email referring to me and this guide by name if 
you'd like to post it on your site.

Ad space:

http://faqs.retronintendo.com is the NES FAQ Completion Project. It's 
inspired me to look at some games I never would have, otherwise. Have a look 
at it and see all we've done!

================================

            OUTLINE

  1. INTRODUCTION

  2. CONTROLS/POINTS

  3. ENEMIES AND SIDE GAMES

  4. WALKTHROUGH

    4-1. CLOWN

    4-2. TIGHTROPE MAN

    4-3. WHITE TIGER

    4-4. THE LION TRAINER(/TAMER)

    4-5. THE BEAR ON THE BALL

    4-6. MR. MAGIC

  5. CHEATS

  6. VERSIONS

  7. CREDITS

================================

            OUTLINE

  1. INTRODUCTION

Circus Caper is a fun game which starts out weird and intimidating, but you 
rapidly realize there are only so many things the enemy can do. Despite its 
imbalance, it's an entertaining game. You play as Tim, whose sister Judy got 
a ticket to the circus and got lost. Mr Magic informs Tim, who has gone to 
see about his sister, that she is lost. Tim needs to fight through six levels 
and bosses to rescue his sister.

Throughout the levels you have weird nightmarish enemies jumping from the 
bottom and top, and you need different ways to attack them. Miniature bears 
and elephants and some renegade circus people attempt to slow your quest. 
What's worse, you only have one life, but you have a lot of recharging zones. 
And you have infinite continues. While part of the game may seem annoying 
with hitting you several times in a row--despite you having the equivalent of 
16 hit points--when you find a sweet spot where you can recharge hit points, 
everything works okay.


  2. CONTROLS/POINTS

(A) jumps. Tapping it makes you jump not so high. You can move left/right 
while in the air.

(B) attacks an enemy. If you push down, (B) kicks them. This is necessary for 
small enemies and appears to have more range against big ones. However, the 
trade-off is that you have to stand still. You can punch while jumping, but 
it doesn't work well unless the enemy is bobbing up and down.

If you're hit while a power-up flies over you, too bad. You lose the power-up.

(Select) changes a power-up. You cannot have two power-ups in action at once. 
This is most relevant when you have a block or shield power-up. However, you 
can still push (B) a bunch and punch the enemies. You can also use power-ups 
one right after the other.

Here is what the power-ups do:

bomb: the rarest, it blows up all enemies except bosses when it hits the 
ground. You drop it down a pit, it's wasted.

block: it appears at waist level and allows you to jump higher. You can place 
it while jumping to get to the very highest parts of the screen, which is 
necessary when you need to exit stage upper right.

hammer: flies in the direction you throw it. You can jump and throw it to 
knock off an enemy on a ledge.

soccer ball: drops and rolls in the direction you throw it. Not quite as 
powerful as the hammer, but a good backup.

shield: a protective ball swirls around you 8 times before disappearing. It 
nails everything it touches, but if there is a fast missile, that may hit you.

There is also a food power-up which can heal from 1 to 2.5 units. You start 
the game with 8 units, and each hit is usuall .5 units.

  3. ENEMIES AND SIDE GAMES

Jumping clowns(1000): see where they fall and move a bit to get away from 
them.

Airborne clowns(500): these guys are easy to punch out as you float.

Trapeze artists(500): these guys, you can catch up to from behind.

Blue monkeys(500): best avoided, but they will never jump to confuse you.

Flying pigs(2000): you can duck under them. Fire at them with the hammer if 
you want to.

Birds(1000): swoop twice. Very annoying.

Miniature pigs/elephants(100): just kick them.

Miniature snakes(100): you can't just kick them, as they can fly under you 
and nail you.

Flying dancers(1000?): try to avoid them.

Bears on bikes(1000): jump over them if they pop up away from you. Punch them 
if they are near. They are either very easy or very hard to beat.

Anything in the 6th level: avoid them.

Bosses always give 1000 points, but they are actually pretty easy when you 
know which power-up to use.

The best place to beat up enemies and build up is where you have the falling 
ones that give treasure, or at the right edge of the area, where enemies are 
predictable.

FAIRIES may appear if you are down to 1/2 your life left. They have a 1/2 
chance of recharging you.

SYNCHRONIZED FLAME JUMPING:

The flames move back and forth more quickly every 5 jum, so by the time you 
get to 25, your best strategy may be to sit in the corner and jump a bunch 
and cross your fingers. The flames spend less time in the very corner, so you 
should be able to determine about when a flame will come in and adjust your 
jump. You get 100 points for each successful jump. You do not get double 
points for jumping over 2 flames.

CAR GAME:

Funny what can fit in a circus. Usually it's a bunch of stuff fitting IN a 
car. Anyway, go semi-slowly, pushing back left every second or so, and you 
can probably pick up a star every other second. That's good enough.

  4. WALKTHROUGH

In general you want to use all the power-ups you can, and using a power-up to 
kill an enemy is a good strategy, since the enemy itself always coughs up a 
power-up.

    4-1. CLOWN

You start out with clowns jumping down from the ceiling. They run at you and 
you just need to kick them. They may shoot at you, but you should not be too 
worried about that. Don't worry if one almost hits you or comes close. Just 
run straight at the clowns and hit them. You'll have chances to recharge. 
Soon you will make it to a pool. Jump on the alligator when it opens its 
mouth, then jump right again onto the next one--if it did not appear, jump 
back left and try again. From the second alligator you should get to the 
other side. Once you see the flying pigs, you'll want to duck more. If they 
appear in combination with a clown, use a hammer or soccer ball to wipe it 
out. You can jump and use a hammer on the pigs if you want.

Beat up more enemies--one should throw out a piece of cake or a burger, which 
will heal you. Now if you want you can step behind the curtains to play a 
mini-game, though be prepared to duck.

You can actually continually go to the bonus room, and the second room after 
that also features synchronized flame jumping. But you probably want to move 
on--duck the pigs when they drop. Eventually you'll get to the water's edge 
again. This lake has 4 alligators, but one doesn't appear for a while after 
you jump on the second. The pigs may also block your flight and kick you into 
the drink. You'll have more pigs to avoid afterwards before you get to the 
edge. You should have a block, but if not, there will be a pig you can run up 
to, jump and smash. Place the block, standing a couple steps away from the 
edge, then jump onto the block and through the UR exit. Place the block at 
the edge and it'll be inside the wall.

For this next part the controls are a little goofy, but the enemies are a lot 
easier. Wait back and punch enemies til you are healed back to 8 hearts. Then 
there'll be a choice of the top and bottom platform. Always go for the top. 
Punch as you go, and if you get hit a bit, don't worry. You can heal on any 
platform. You may have trouble getting on a platform, so you will have to hit 
A a few times--useless to hit it quickly, just tap it and eventually it'll 
get there. Fire to the right if necessary.

Now go to the bottom once there is a wide-open space and cauldrons below. The 
random bombs may hit you, but the real problems are the balloons, which are 
horrible to punch. Ready the hammer in case one blocks you. You will have to 
jump over a big tall set of blocks, fall down, and jump over and fall. Then 
there'll be a pit where the roof slants UR. Run right and continually press A 
quickly before you make it to the clown's mouth. Switch to the disc power-up.

For the boss fight, you just need to activate the spinning disc power-up, 
which even deflects some missiles(don't be TOO careless if your health is 
low--it's not perfect) and the rest will take care of itself. For perfect 
safety, stay on the left block, just left of its center, or the clown-bag-
thingy may run into you. You need to keep punching so the power-up stays 
intact. It took me about three to get through with this. You can, if you want, 
run at him and run back. For the record, he takes 20 hits, and each shield 
you get swings 8 times before it disappears.

    4-2. TIGHTROPE MAN

This is actually a bit easier than the first level. You don't need a power-up 
to wipe out enemies that may jump at inopportune times, as you can just jump 
over them and attack from behind. You can even stay in one place to beat up 
enemies, backing up slowly left, if you want to get power-ups. The door leads 
to the car sub-game, but if you are on its platform, blue guys may come by 
and take damage from you uninhibited, so jump to the top. Walk along--some 
guys may jump up at the wrong time, but so what. Make a big leap over the gap.

Now jump up the platforms that get shorter at the top and down. Heal up here 
if you haven't, and if enemies get stuck in the small right bit below you, go 
back left and right to clear that area. Ready the hammer to take out any 
flying pies that may appear ahead of you. These guys can trip you up in the 
middle of a jump and kill you. Move quickly so you don't run out.

The next platform UR-UD has guys dropping from the ceiling, and they may be 
worth only 100 points, but they have a surprise element. Switch from the 
hammer to nothing. Keep your jumps short. However, if they miss you, they are 
very vulnerable and can be hit for power-ups. Then you will have more pies 
and then a long jump. Use a brick if you're worried--place it at the edge of 
the gap and jump--and in any case, don't jump until after you see a guy fall 
to your right. There's some more jumping after that. In the gap beyond the 
big tall column, you can pretty safely beat up enemies as they fall from the 
right. Then you should go along the bottom(you recharge better that way) and, 
before one jump where you need to hit your head--just past the door that 
leads to the silly racing game--you have pies to avoid. The pit may not be 
clear as there'll be white latticework in it. Jump at the edge so the pie 
goes over you. Then jump over the pit and continue to collect recharges. Make 
sure you have the shield, too.

Then when you walk to the right, the scrolling will stop, and you will meet 
the next boss. He is as easy as the last one. Just sneak up behind him as he 
runs back and forth and activate the shield and punch him. If he turns around, 
jump over him and hit him from behind. If he is near the edge, run back and 
past center(under center, you will jump and hit him) and loop-jump to get him 
from behind on the other side. As in round one, it's best not to get too 
close if approaching him from the front.

    4-3. WHITE TIGER

The monsters here (100) are pretty easy to beat--push down and B and it's 
like that silly game Kung-Fu. You should be able to charge up what you lost 
earlier. When you get to the edge of a pit, make sure a monster is falling 
before you jump, or you may get conked and miss your jump. Now there may be 
some bouncing clowns after this that may take you for a bit of damage, but 
just hack through them.

There'll be one more long jump, and after that you have a small puzzle. You 
can power up standing on the left bit of the flowerpot at the right edge and 
kicking right, but eventually you will need to jump and place a block(time it 
so the clown coming DL doesn't touch you) about halfway up the screen. Jump 
on the block and then jump up again to get to the top of the screen. That 
leads you to a game of Teriyaki Battle with the White Tiger.

Teriyaki Battle is pretty easy once you know to look for an orange blob and 
not a white line, then push A. Don't get frustrated if the tiger is quicker 
than you, and don't start pushing A out of frustration when he gets on a run. 
He makes mistakes, too, and 18 or so points on your part should be enough to 
win. With a bit of practice--just one full game, if that--you should win 
easily.

    4-4. THE LION TRAINER(/TAMER)

More uncoordinated midgets, but now they are midget elephants! Repeat level 3. 
But then you need to avoid the birds. These guys are tough. They swoop at you, 
then back. You need to develop intuition about when they will dip, then jump 
quickly twice.

For the actual path, ready a brick and jump and place it when at the right 
edge, then jump again. You can kick each way to regain some health. It takes 
a while, but it's worth it. The next part of the level basically repeats this. 
You need to be careful jumping over the gaps, jumping over the birds before 
actually jumping, then use another brick to jump on it and get on the top 
platform again. Recharge as needed.

Next are the acorn bombs. These are pretty easy to avoid, and they give up 
power-ups when you get them. Get a shield before moving on. You can also 
power up your health too.

You'll need a brick to get onto the big platform blocking your way, and you 
always need to be careful about acorns falling. Wait--even if you are damaged, 
that is okay--better than losing outright. Similarly, don't worry about when 
you must climb a bit and are damaged by acorns you can't avoid. After you 
drop down, you can heal.

Big tigers appear after this, but if you stay in the center, they will not 
damage you. As long as you don't try to fight back, they will be no problem. 
Eventually there will be a gold cage to the right that you must jump on. Wait 
for acorns to fall and jump over the gap. Then drop down and jump again. You 
shouldn't need much healing.

Then there are some birds--just go right and be resigned to taking a heart or 
two of damage before you make it behind the curtain to boss #4.

The boss is still the same as in previous levels. Just walk up behind him and 
blast him with the circular shield. While he damages you each time he whips, 
no matter where you are, he won't whip much once you use your power-up. He 
won't have the time.

    4-5. THE BEAR ON THE BALL

Watch out for weird jumping eels here. There are also dancers that float 
diagonally. Be prepared to jump to avoid them(eels) or hit them from 
behind(dancers). There is a door a way down, where the fairy gives you a 
synchronized fire jumping game.
??
Then come the dishes. If you don't feel like kicking/punching them(easy 
enough to recharge) or you must jump over them, run away a bit so that when 
they see you, you can jump over them. After that you have a sub game where 
you must push a-b-a-b rapidly for maximum points. It features Godzilla 
touching his toes. I can get about 30 points, but you don't need to bother 
with it. There are a few more dishes after that and a few jumps that aren't 
too tricky.

Then you will have a big UR jump. Use a brick to jump onto this platform. 
Then there are stairs up to a door with synchronized jumping. There are ropes 
that fall here, and they are like the previous acorn bombs. You should risk 
hits here to power back up.

The rest of the level is pretty straightforward jumping, but you need to stay 
on at the bottom when you have a choice. It leads to a godzilla game, which 
seems worthless, but it turns out that going along the top blocks you as you 
try to jump. Use a bomb here if you need to clean the bottom bit out. Then, 
once you are at the top, you have the boss fight to the right.

This one is a bit trickier as if you get too close to the bear, he will zap 
you, and he moves after each time you activate the shield. Plus, he turns 
around and faces you. So stand in the center and jump over him when he goes 
under. Then when he slows down, move in and swing the shield so the edge of 
it hits the bear. Tap away from the bear as you move along. Count to eight, 
jump, let him bounce back and forth, and throw out the shield again. He only 
takes 15 hits, but his extra mobility after you hit him makes him a problem.

    4-6. MR. MAGIC

At the start, bears pop up from below, and they don't run at you til you get 
close. So if one is next to you, punch him as he comes down, but otherwise, 
jump around. There's not too long to go before the curtain right, but 
actually, you should wait around til you heal a bit. And you can stand at the 
third checkerboard column from the right and slug away til you get all the 
power ups you want. If 2 enemies appear on the left, jump over them to 
refresh and start again.

Now you have something resembling a maze. You can probably figure things out 
by trial and error, but you want to avoid a few things:

1. the green ghost. Do not jump while it cloaks you! It doesn't do damage, 
but it makes left right and right left for a few seconds.

2. gaps while you're under the ghost's influence. If you lose the ghost while 
jumping, you can't steer any more, which is bad.

The map of the maze is not too tough to figure out. There are only four rooms. 
Each room has several doors, and on top of each door is the door it teleports 
to. Note that stepping into a door twice doesn't send you back where you were. 
Room 4 has rechargers that drop from the ceiling.


         2a    2b
          a     b
1: ¯¯ ¯¯ ¯¯ ¯¯ ¯¯

   2c      3b 4b 3d
   a        b  c  d
2: ¯¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯¯¯¯ ¯¯

  2a 4a 1a   3a 1b 3b 4b **
   a  b c     d  e  f  g  h
3: ¯¯¯¯ ¯¯¯¯ ¯¯ ¯¯ ¯¯ ¯¯ ¯¯

  3g       2d
   a        b
4: ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯¯


So the pattern here is 1st door in room 1, then go up twice, then recharge in 
room 4. Go left to the door and enter it, then go right from the door where 
you exit to see the fairy. She will offer you a game with a kangaroo. This 
one is easy. You can punch while a dropping ball is in the air, and you will 
get it before the kangaroo does. He'll get some you canit because of his 
zigzagging. Stay in the center to get what you can, and you should win by ten 
points or more. That's all you need to heal up.

Now you will face each of the previous bosses. They only have two hits, 
though. Bombs don't work, but everything else does.

Take out the clown with the hammer--stand back and jump. If you get hit once, 
so what.

Take out the tightrope man with the soccer ball.

Take out the lion tamer with the soccer ball. He may hit you, but that is 
okay.

Take out the bear on the ball with the soccer ball once. Recharge the hammer 
and throw that at him.

Now it's time for Mr. Magic. He has 25 hit points. You can throw the hammer 
at him twice to soften him up--his cards are not hard to avoid. But it won't 
get you that far. Once again, it's the shield that wins the day for you. You 
can't wait til the enemy is at the VERY bottom, but you can jump up a bit and 
sock him--he will come after you. From there it is not bad. You must stand a 
bit away from him, and you probably don't want to jump in the corner, or he 
will damage you as the bear did.

A bit of math shows that you need 5 hits per shield used, and you can jump up 
and use the shield again when it is about to die, especially if he is right 
below you. Or you can just wait for him to come down and get near. If you 
wind up missing him the first time, just jump up at him and he will swoop at 
you when you first hit him with your shield.

You need to remember to keep away from him so he does not damage you, and 
don't worry if he fires cards at you--you can take 3 hits per session close 
to him, assuming you get 5 hits per shield session. It's a weird move of his, 
moving down at you when he's hit, and it's a bit suicidal to do so, but it's 
the only way I've found to win.

  5. CHEATS

0x205 = boss HP hits remaining (all levels)

0x392 = your current strength. Maximum = 0x80 and it is taken down in 
increments of 0x8. If you set this to a positive number, then you can miss a 
jump and reappear at the top with no harm done.

0x35d = # of hammers
0x35e = # of soccer balls
0x35f = # of bricks
0x360 = # of bombs
0x361 = # of shield power ups

0x501 = time for carnival game
0x50c = your total points in mini-game
0x510 = opponent's total points in mini-game, if relevant

End of FAQ Proper

================================

  6. VERSIONS

1.0.0: sent to GameFAQs 2/20/2008, complete

  7. CREDITS

Thanks to the usual GameFAQs gang, current and emeritus. They know who they 
are, and you should, too, because they get/got some SERIOUS writing done. 
Good people too--bloomer, falsehead, Sashanan, Masters, Retro, Snow 
Dragon/Brui5ed Ego, ZoopSoul, War Doc, Brian Sulpher, AdamL, odino, JDog and 
others I forgot. OK, even Hydrophant in his current not-yet-banned message 
board incarnation. I am not part of his gang, but I want him to be part of 
mine.
Thanks to the NES Completion Project folks for keeping it going.
Special thanks to Psycho Penguin for his interesting review of the game.

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